Friday, February 05, 2010

Poem for Friday and Native American Art

If Truth Is the Lure, Humans Are Fishes
By Jane Hirshfield

Under each station of the real,
another glimmers.
And so the love of false-bottomed drawers
and the salt mines outside Kraków,
going down and down without drowning.
A man harms his wife, his child.
He says, "Here is the reason."
She says, "Here is the reason."
The child says nothing,
watching him led away.
If truth is the lure, humans are fishes.
All the fine bones of that eaten-up story,
think about them.
Their salt-cod whiteness on whiteness.


From this week's New Yorker.

I spent an awesome few hours with Cidercupcakes, who came over for lunch and brought Avatar: The Last Airbender, about which you are all in big trouble for not telling me that Jason Isaacs played the voice of the first season villain. Having been subjected to many, many years of Pokemon and Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh movies, I am skeptical of kid-oriented anime in general, and American-made anime just sounded scary, but it has delightful characters, especially the women, and so many moments when one can quote LOTR, Harry Potter and Star Wars that it's just pure fun. I can't decide whether the main trio reminds me more of Harry, Ron and Hermione or Ash, Brock and Misty, but I like them a lot, especially since Katara gets to do more cool stuff than the other girls. And there are flying bison and seals with turtle shells and magical carp and mouse-eared lemurs, and Sokka has to learn to fight in woman warrior's garb. So it's really all good.

The rest of my day was spent preparing for the snowpocalypse, which is supposed to arrive late morning tomorrow and bury us under two feet of snow by Saturday night. I wanted to get some packages to the post office beforehand, and both kids ended up staying late at school -- Daniel for robotics, Adam to make up a math quiz. Hopefully we have enough milk, toilet paper, hummus, cheese, etc. to survive -- Paul helpfully bought lots of junk food in case we can't get out of the neighborhood to go to the Super Bowl party, though we made it despite a big snowstorm a couple of years ago, so hopefully the fact that we now have more food in the house than is reasonable will keep the snow under control, like washing the car to try to make it rain. Both kids brought home excellent report cards and we spent a lot of the evening talking about schedules for next year, plus college stuff, when we weren't watching the Trek episode I need to review tomorrow (evil alien story "Schisms"). They only just went to bed so I am disorganized and hoping they have school at least for a couple of hours before the storm arrives. Since there will likely be snow photos over the weekend, here are some pictures of my in-laws' collection of Native American art from their travels in the southwest:

A storyteller figure from the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico. The elk pottery ornament lying flat in front of it is decorated with a life line, and the angel is from the Acoma Pueblo.

An Acoma seed pot plus a turtle from Acoma Pueblo. The Watermelon Man is from San Felipe Pueblo, while the turquoise bear is Zuni.

From this angle you can see the decoration on the Acoma pot -- a rooster, lizard, elk, and kokopelli.

The Navajo wedding basket includes a break in the pattern leading out of the design -- I've read several explanations (the creation story of the people emerging from the center of the Earth out into the spirit world, the idea that in dark times one can always find the light). During the wedding ceremony, it is filled with cornmeal and the bride and groom feed each other.

This pot was carved by Denise Chavarria of Tribe Tewa. The cuts at the top represent Kiva steps which lead to enclosures for spiritual ceremonies. The design around the center is an Avanyu water serpent, believed to inhabit all forms of water. The clay is black because it was covered with a layer of horse dung during firing.

A Chimayo woven wall hanging with traditional Mexican pattern -- two bands with a symbol in the center.

Another wall hanging, this one with the beautiful turquoise and sand colors of the Southwest.

A Hopi Kachina displayed with three smaller Tomten from Sweden, from which many of my in-laws' relatives came to America.

No comments: